The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering,
Living & Learning Excursions
By Sheryl Kayne

The Countryman Press
A division of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
ISBN 978-0-88150-802-4
Pub Date: September 2008
Pages 400

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Immersion travel is for everyone at all ages and stages of life. It means taking an active part in where one visits in order to learn about the culture, traditions, and characteristics of each particular place.

This book will absolutely change lives and the way people think about travel in the U.S. The goal is to not just visit, but to get involved. Designed to be a resource and idea book, this guide provides practical information about immersion travel, special considerations and costs, and how to plan and take vacations, sabbaticals, side trips, and more.

Each chapter is filled with candid stories from travelers who have immersed themselves in one of the more than 200 activities chronicled in the book. Readers will find out about:

Helping: Volunteer in Great Locations with Phenomenal People
Build affordable housing while biking across the nation, Bike & Build, Philadelphia, Penn.
Tutor, mentor, and be a role model for inner city youth, City Year, Boston, Mass.

Learning: Education, Self-Help, and Alternative Lifestyles
Experience life as it was in a covered wagon tour on the Oregon Trail, Bayard, Nebr.
Master quilting, fiddling, blacksmithing, and other traditional crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, N.C.

Working: Explore Internships and Short- and Longer-Term Job Opportunities
Trade farming, gardening, maintenance, or housekeeping for room and board, Wellspring, West Bend, Wis.
Build and maintain trails in White Mountain National Forest, American Hiking Society, Silver Spring, Md.

Immersion Travel for Animal Lovers, Caretakers, and Activists
Document Atlantic bottlenose dolphins along the East Coast, Dolphins Plus, Key Largo, Fla.
Observe millions of bats, Selman Bat Watch, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Playing: Enjoy the Great Outdoors, Sports, and the Arts
Be totally immersed in an underwater vacation, Jules' Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Fla.
Go whitewater rafting through Westwater Canyon, Utah, Adventure Bound River Expeditions, Grand Junction, Colo.


The book also includes inspirational first-person narratives, like Betsy’s Story, a 45-year-old elementary school teacher who went on a spring break horse-packing trip and enjoyed it so much that she sold her home in Virginia, gave up her teaching job, and applied for the adventure job of her dreams, packing horses and cooking on Allen’s Diamond Four Ranch in the Wind River Mountain Range. They specialize in horses, fly-fishing, pack trips, and elk hunting in the Shoshone National Forest. Throughout IMMERSION TRAVEL USA you will find personal stories about travelers who discovered their passions through different experiences. Kathleen fell in love with dogsledding on a weekend trip and now has 37 Alaskan huskies and teaches people how to mush in Minnesota. Chuck and Dona were so thrilled after attending the National Storytelling Festival that they sold their home in New Jersey and opened a bed & breakfast in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Immersion travel can definitely change your life. Don’t just visit, get involved.


Sheryl Kayne
is a writer, adventurer, performer, and educator. Growing up the daughter of a traveling salesman, she loved nothing better than jumping into the family car for a day on the road with her father. In the seventh grade, after staring at the map during a particularly boring geography class, she excitedly blurted, “Look at that! I can drive to Alaska!” And she did, many years later, to take a summer job researching, writing, and performing living history vignettes about women in the Gold Rush.

“My lifelong dream has been to not just visit, but to get involved everywhere I go. People often talked about Immersion Travel into Europe – immersing themselves into the culture, people, place and language for a total learning experience,” says Kayne, “and I applied that concept to my new book, IMMERSION TRAVEL USA.”
She is also the author of two published children’s books, QUEEN OF THE KISSES and QUEEN OF THE KiSSES MEETS SAM UNDER A SOUP POT, creator of five newspaper and magazine columns, and contributor to national and international publications including: The New York Times, Working Mother, Shape, Parents, American Profile, The Writer, Chicago Suburban Woman, Connecticut Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Hadassah, and many others.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Bridgeport and Master of Science degree in school psychology from Fairfield University, and is an Adjunct Professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT teaching Public Speaking and Oral Interpretation of Literature. Her feature articles are included in book collections: American Profile’s 50 Best Hometown Heroes and Hadassah Magazine’s Jewish Parenting.

Kayne has extensive on-camera and radio media training and experience in standup comedy on the New York circuit. She is comfortable with large and small groups, performing her children’s books for schools and festivals, delivering living history vignettes, leading nature trail walks in Alaska, and facilitating workshops on immersion travel. She has appeared on MTV, CNN, All Talk Network, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network’s New Attitudes, and NPR.

She has traveled to Great Britain, Europe, the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Middle East, South America, Canada, and 46 states in the U.S., and has worked in many of the places she has visited in a variety of positions. The recipient of numerous awards for writing, most recently she was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, FL, and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM. Her next book with Countryman Press, VOLUNTEER VACATIONS ACROSS AMERICA, is due out June, 2009.

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